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PRECIOUS-Gold eases as dollar firms; U.S. election debate in focus

    Oct 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices dipped on Friday, weighed by
a stronger dollar, as investors kept a close watch on the final
U.S. presidential election debate and sought further clarity on
a coronavirus aid package.                     
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        fell 0.1% to $1,902.57 per ounce by 0110
GMT, after slipping more than 1% in the previous session. 
    * U.S. gold futures        were little changed at $1,904.80
per ounce.
    * The dollar index rose against a basket of currencies,
dimming bullion's appeal to other currency holders.          
    * U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said
negotiators were making progress in talks with the White House
over a new coronavirus fiscal aid package and a deal could be
reached "pretty soon".              
    * White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow however
cautioned that there were still "significant policy differences"
unlikely to be resolved before the election.
    * Investors are also watching out for the final U.S.
presidential debate that began at 9 p.m ET on Thursday.
                        
    * U.S. data showed that weekly jobless claims dropped more
than expected, while home sales surged to a more than 14-year
high in September.                         
    * With time fast running out, Britain and the European Union
began intensified daily talks on Thursday, in a final push for a
Brexit deal.               
    * Strong investor demand for gold will keep prices high and
offset the likely slump in demand from jewellers and central
banks next year, Refinitiv Metals Research said.              
    * Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded-fund
(ETF), the SPDR Gold Trust      , fell 0.1% on Wednesday to 40.8
million ounces from Tuesday.             
    * Silver        fell 0.8% to $24.56 per ounce, while
platinum        dropped 0.4% to $880.94 and palladium        
rose 0.3% to $2,379.50. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    0800  EU Oct. Markit Manufacturing, Services Flash PMI      
   
    0830  UK Oct. Manufacturing, Services Flash PMI           
    1345  US Oct. Manufacturing, Services Flash PMI       

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren
Daniel)
  
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